Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

One Word Photo Challenge: Clear

Halite 2199_005 Halite 2199_004 Halite 2199_003


aka Sodium Chloride

aka NaCl

aka plain old ordinary salt of the earth

This cleavage of clear halite measures 2.5 x 2.2 x 2.0 cm

and comes from salt mines in Goderich, Ontario.

Some minerals are trickier to photograph than others. Anything shiny, lustrous, black like patent leather, and especially clear specimens are particularly challenging. I find, anyway. I learned the trick of placing text behind the specimen as a way to showcase the clarity.

Inspired by Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge

Categories: It's a Hobby, Mineral Collecting, Photography

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

44 replies

  1. “I can see clearly now, the grain (of salt) is gone!” Wait! Is the word “cleavage” often used with minerals? Neat photos, Maggie Mae!


  2. It’s amazing how clear this is. The text behind it is a great technique, I’m impressed by how well I can read the words. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely shots. 🙂


  3. Yay – she’s back 😍

    I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know a chunk of salt would be clear.

    Interesting that cleavage means cleave apart because most cleavage I see is smushed together. Just saying.


  4. Wow, who knew that salt could be so beautiful. It’s all about the big picture (literally) sometimes.


  5. Wonderful photography. I really enjoyed seein what you’d come up with.:-)


  6. The salt of the earth is a beautiful thing. Thank you, Maggie.


  7. You can put me in the ‘wow’ category. First – amazing photos! An excellent trick to put the writing behind it because a non-sciencie person like me can be totally impressed that I can see through it AND it magnifies!!
    Add me to the list of people who didn’t know it was clear. My first reaction was that it was a cube of ice. Yeah – I know I should have known better.
    I learned about the salt mines in Goderich from an article during last winter’s salt shortage. Interesting!!


    • Well, ice is a mineral, you know. H2O in solid form – no different than this, except it has a much lower melting point. (Hee hee, magnifies. 🙂 )

      I hadn’t realized that there was a salt shortage. I suppose that’s because I didn’t get out much last winter and didn’t need to have the roads cleared. Let’s hope for a non-repeat this year!


      • I don’t know what it was like in your area, but finding salt for the drive and walk ways was very challenging. Every time the stores got a shipment, it would sell out within hours.
        According to the article, part of the shortage was caused by the frequency and severity of the storms. Apparently at one point, the roads were closed around Goderich for 3 days. They had salt, they simply couldn’t get it shipped out.


  8. Really neat!
    I shared one of Moo’s blue agate pieces on Instagram for “Something Blue,” and it didn’t photograph well at all. I think it’s the see-through variation. I used a white tea towel which helped a bit, but still, I couldn’t capture its true beauty.
    (missed your posts, btw!)


    • There’s stuff about digital photography and the way the technology perceives and interprets light and colour that is way beyond my understanding. Therefore, I have no idea how to compensate or set up a shot. For instance, sometimes my camera simply refuses to focus if the facets are too shiny or lustrous. No way no how.

      (Thanks, btw. I’m going through a dry spell. Not sure if it’s seasonal adjustment or what.)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My father, the geologist, taught me how to identify halite — with my tongue.


  10. Can I ask a stupid question? salt of the earth, is that just an expression, or is there actual salt in the earth? (I always assumed it was only found in the sea?)

    Really cool photo and really clever to put text behind it to show how clear it is!


    • I’m glad you think, so, Celine. I was quite taken by the results, myself.

      Regarding your question – In a way, the short answer is “both”. Very simplified geology: (in other words, I’m applying my limited understanding) Salt, in the sea, will settle and collect and over the thousands and millions of years, create layers in sedimentary formations such as the ones found in Lake Huron near Goderich where this comes from, or Death Valley, California.


  11. That first photo left me with an overwhelming desire for a gin and tonic.
    It’s salt?? Wow.
    And now I need potato chips with that G&T.


  12. Very nice, Maggie! My husband spent 10 years in the mining industry; he would love these shots.


  13. Ohhh, I knew from the title that appeared in my email that this was going to be beautiful yet minimalist photography!

    Yes, adding the text shows how clear it is. But that first image, with the darkness seeming to surround and be within the Halite, is stunning.

    Who knew a tasty addition to my food could be so beautiful?


  14. Why does this always happen to me? Why do they want to pound me into a round hole? Ouch! That hurts.


  15. Great photos. I’m always impressed at what you achieve, aesthetically, in the scale you’re working at.

    My question is, did you enhance their appeal even further by airbrushing in subliminal S-E-X, like in all the ice cubes in the liquor ads? (Those always cracked me up: I remember how shocked I was as a teen the first time I spotted them in a Gilbey’s gin ad!)



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